Sunday, August 16, 2015
Jimi Hendrix - 1970  "Rainbow Bridge" 2 CD
Continuing in the vein of The Cry of Love, the first official posthumous Hendrix album, Rainbow Bridge explores new guitar styles and textures. All the songs, except for a solo studio version of "The Star Spangled Banner", are written by Hendrix and mostly performed with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass.
The songs on Rainbow Bridge represent material in various stages of development and were never finalized or approved for release by Hendrix. Four of the songs on the album, along with the ten songs from The Cry of Love and three from War Heroes, were planned for Hendrix's follow-up album to the live Band of Gypsys, released in March 1970. These songs were later included on Voodoo Soup in 1995 and First Rays of the New Rising Sun in 1997, which were attempts at completing the double album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death.
Back when Rainbow Bridge was originally released, it was actually among the best of the posthumous Hendrix releases. Billed as "the original motion picture soundtrack" (it wasn't, really), it was a mix of excellent, finished studio tracks and a couple of live tracks. Despite this, it's understandable why it didn't appeared in the digital realm until 2014 (officially, at least).
Once the estate went back to the Hendrix family in the '90s, three of the tracks from Rainbow Bridge were used on the album First Rays of the New Rising Sun, which had previously only existed as Jimi's hand-written track listing. The remaining tracks were orphaned out on various box sets and compilations. So while all the tracks on Rainbow Bridge have been made available elsewhere, it's nice to finally have it assembled the way the original LP was, with excellent remastered sound (not just for the old-timers who had the LP the first time around, but for others who don't necessarily want to shell out for the box set needed to gather these tracks). Highlights include overlooked gems like "Pali Gap" and Jimi's rarely heard studio version of "The Star Spangled Banner," which is made of multi-tracked guitars and basses.
Since The Jimi Hendrix Experience split up, Jimi had been working on many songs and recorded a lot of demos. However, without wanting to give another studio album to the producer Ed Chaplin, he decided to make a live album of new material with a few new songs so that he could fulfill his contract. But, unfortunately, Jimi died 9/11/1970, leaving all those demos unfinished , still with a great number of amazing songs. With him dead, a race to release posthumous albums of that material started. The first one to do it, and the most honest, was Eddie Kramer. Together with Mitch Mitchel, Hendrix's drummer, he produced a trilogy of posthumous albums with the most complete demos and some jams too. "Rainbow Bridge" was the second one of these albums and has a good number of Hendrix classics, including songs that he planned to release in his next studio album. The album starts with "Dolly Dagger", a track that feels finished and complete; this hard rocking piece shows that Hendrix had already changed a bit his style since his Experience days. The lyrics seem to be talking about a witch and rituals, a thematic that Hendrix had talked about before. Other highlights include a 11 min long live version of "Hear My Train a Comin'" which shows Hendrix's incredible live performances, and Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), which by the long intro and the fact that he asks "Is the microphone on?" make it feels like it's a early demo, it feels like it could turn out to be the best songs of the ones in this album.
Recording information: Berkeley Community Center (01/20/1970); Electric Lady Studios (01/20/1970); Record Plant (01/20/1970); TTG Studios (01/20/1970); Berkeley Community Center (03/18/1969); Electric Lady Studios (03/18/1969); Record Plant (03/18/1969); TTG Studios (03/18/1969); Berkeley Community Center (05/30/1970); Electric Lady Studios (05/30/1970); Record Plant (05/30/1970); TTG Studios (05/30/1970); Berkeley Community Center (07/01/1970); Electric Lady Studios (07/01/1970); Record Plant (07/01/1970); TTG Studios (07/01/1970); Berkeley Community Center (10/22/1968); Electric Lady Studios (10/22/1968); Record Plant (10/22/1968); TTG Studios (10/22/1968); Berkeley Community Center (11/17/1969); Electric Lady Studios (11/17/1969); Record Plant (11/17/1969); TTG Studios (11/17/1969).
01 - Rainbow Band - It's a Beautiful Day
02 - Chuck Wein - Introduction
03 - Spanish Castle Magic
04 - Lover Man
05 - Hey Baby
06 - In From The Storm
07 - Message To Love
08 - Foxy Lady
09 - Hear My Train A Comin'
10 - Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
11 - Fire
12 - Purple Haze
13 - Dolly Dagger
14 - Villanova Junction Blues
15 - Ezy Rider
01 - Red House
02 - Freedom
03 - Jam Back at the House
04 - Land Of The New Rising Sun
05 - Dolly Dagger (Wight 70)
06 - Hey Baby (Wight 70)
07 - Hear My Train Comin (Berkeley 70)
08 - Message Of Love (Fillmore 69)
09 - Easy Rider (Fillmore 69)
10 - Room Full Of Mirros (B.O.G. 69)
11 - Stepping Stone (B.O.G. 69)
12 - Earth Blues (B.O.G. 69)
13 - Hey Baby (C.O.L.B. 70)
Jimi Hendrix – guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals (tracks 1, 2)
Mitch Mitchell – drums (all tracks except 4, 5)
Billy Cox – bass guitar (all tracks except 5, 6)
Juma Sultan – congas, percussion (tracks 1, 3, 6)
Buddy Miles – drums (track 4), backing vocals (track 2)
Noel Redding – bass guitar (track 6)
The Ghetto Fighters (Albert Allen and Arthur Allen) – backing vocals (track 1)
The Ronettes (Veronica Bennett, Estelle Bennett, Nedra Talley) – backing vocals (track 2)
Posted by Crimhead420 at 11:37 AM